Greetings from The Slave Detective,
I spotted this article on a FACEBOOK page I contribute too:- Human Trafficking Daily News Feed on Global Human Trafficking.
Though it isn’t a Human Trafficking article it does raise several issues that I have raised previously.
It was originally posted in The Huffington Post. It is a story about a young lady who was sexually assaulted and is now being held in contempt of court for breaching a court gagging order.
This 17yr old tweeted the names of her attackers after they had been given what she considered a light sentence for a sexual assault on her.
From the outset let me say a couple of things.
1) Anyone who breaches a court order does so at their own peril and should not seek sympathy. The law is the bedrock upon what our society is built. We can not have persons taking the law into their own hands on any level.
2) Each case should be dealt with in insolation. This includes the sentencing of offenders. It is a difficult task for Judges to gauge punishment and often they are best placed as they have all the facts available to them, the media and public often do not. There is also a system of appeal against sentence for both convicted persons and Prosecution Agencies on behalf of the victims. In some cases there are avenues for victims to appeal as well.
I have been involved in one such case where I felt the sentence for a trafficker was unduly light. The Crown Prosecution Service disagreed. With the help of some very talented lawyers and the victim we took the case to The Court of appeal and won, doubling the sentence. (This was still unduly light!) So it can happen.
Back to Savannah. She is willing to accept the court’s punishment of her to highlight this case. She has cast aside the usual right to anonymity that is given to both victim and suspect in this case.
Is it right though that the sentence for contempt of court should be handed out? Should she, the victim, have a criminal record for speaking out against the legal system?
There seems to be a ground swell of opinion speaking out against this judgement. The Public should voice their opinion and write to Judge Dee McDonald in this case.
Savannah, could have dealt with this differently and with hindsight I’m sure she would have. She is a young victim who was very upset and her actions are entirely understandable.
Should we spare a thought for the persons convicted of this offence, pleading guilty to first-degree sexual abuse and misdemeanour voyeurism. They have been branded ‘rapists’ in the media! Once again I stress we do not know the full facts of the case.
There are many points to ponder here but the most important point is we need to look after or survivors or others will not step forward to be empowered.